As outdoor gardens go to sleep and get covered with their winter blanket of snow, many gardeners turn their attention to indoor gardening - also known as tropical plants or houseplants. This is one of the biggest trends in gardening right now and there are lots of new plant parents out there as well as more experienced gardeners trying new plant varieties. We get a lot of questions on caring for houseplants and we do our best to find you the right information to make you a successful plant parent.
However the store is closed in January and February and you might need to find some other resources to get your answers. The internet is a good place to start but search results can bring an overwhelming list of links - often with conflicting, over-simplified and sometimes misleading or incorrect information. Try to stick with websites that are focused just on tropical plants, or at least on gardening. Here's some good ones to get you started:
Another way to get your answers is in a book. There are lots out there so head on over to your local library or bookstore and get yourself a good handbook. We like these two:
"The New Plant Parent" by Darryl Cheng
"How Not to Kill Your Houseplant" by Veronica Peerless
but there are plenty of other excellent guides out there, so go have a look!
In the meantime, here's a few basic tips on caring for your indoor plants:
∙ Light is the biggest determining factor for a plant's health. Plants cannot grow without it and although some plants are listed as "low light tolerant" they will not thrive there and most will just slowly dwindle and die. Always try to get your plant as close to a window as possible for best growth or invest in a grow light which are commonly available these days.
∙ Watering cannot usually be done to a schedule or a mathematical formula. Always test the soil with your finger to assess how moist the soil already is before deciding to add more. Make sure your pot has drain holes!
∙ Inspect regularly for common pests like spider mites, aphids, mealybugs and thrips. Look up what these look like so you know what to be on guard for.
∙ Wash your plants from time to time in the shower, kitchen sink or laundry tub to remove dust and prevent insect infestations from taking hold.
∙ Know your plant and what it needs. Try to replicate it's native environment, be it desert, rainforest, or somewhere in between.
Remember that you may want to stock up on houseplant food, insecticide, potting soil, etc. before we close for the winter. We will also be clearing a lot of our plants out so we can start fresh in the spring so watch for that!